CMA was born in December 2002 after a series of conversations, consultations and workshops with like-minded friends in both local and international human rights and migrant rights groups. The discussion revolved around deciding whether they should continue their involvement in civil society organizations (CSOs), also more commonly referred to as non-government organizations (NGOs). The political climate seemed right due to momentum in Philippine Congress (House of Representatives and Senate) to enact an Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) law in time for the 2004 Presidential elections. ‘
Focused consultation and workshops were organized to answer the following
- is there space for another migration related NGO?
- what thrusts and programs should the new organization pursue?
- how would these thrusts and programs be framed?
In the course of these activities, it was found that, through consultations with the existing NGOs involved in migration, there was still space for a new migration related NGO. It helped that the CMA’s founders were deeply immersed in migration work and had established their niches in the field. The founders brought with them a good, working knowledge of migration issues and advocacies. In particular, two areas emerged in the consultations –policy advocacy and facilitating assistance to distressed migrant workers.
You can read more about the story of CMA in our anniversary book here.